"I started yoga when I had just turned 20. To find yoga in the mid nineties you had to really seek it out. The schools were in people's garages or up back alleys. There were no spa like settings in those days, it was old carpet and passion. People wore baggy track suit pants and big T-shirts to class. It was literally just turn up and do as you are told ... but I loved it inside and out. I can still remember finding everything so challenging, especially all the hip openers, baddhakonasana was so hard! I honestly felt like everyone in the room was better than me and truth be told, they were! My student nature has always come easily, my teaching journey on the other hand has been an accidental one. I was just doing lots of yoga and people at work asked me to run a class. I was so worried I might hurt them if I didn't do some training so I came into being a teacher a little bit backwards. It was at this point I started my five years of Iyengar teacher training with Anna Prior. Being a proper yoga nerd I kept studying, doing my two years of Hatha Teacher Training after. It is only really in the last 12 years that I have found my footing and the mountain I want to climb for the rest of my life. I have fallen head over heels for the meditation and consistency of the Ashtanga Method. I have the great honour now to study under Eileen Hall. I have to confess that Mysore is my all-time favourite because it turns you inwards and encourages you to work on yourself. In the mad world we live in it offers a reality check. It reminds me every day that we are all human and fragile. It was in this practice that I discovered that the teacher and the student are always interchangeable. Each offering the other lessons along the way."
Martine Allars : Sydney-based yoga student + teacher